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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

October 21, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Sarkisian on KJR-AM

UW coach Steve Sarkisian was a guest on KJR-AM this morning with Dave “Softy” Mahler (you should be able to find it here).

Here are a few highlights. …

— Asked about last year’s 41-0 loss to Stanford in Seattle, Sarkisian said “we weren’t efficient offensively. It was a bad football game all around and in turn we are a much better football team because of it. It shaped who we’ve become.”

— However, he also said that after reviewing that game early in the week the team hasn’t spent a lot of time dwelling on it: “We focus on the 2011 version, we’re a different team in so many different aspects so we’ve addressed it in the sense to make sure we are not spooked by it, but we have to understand we are a different team.”

— Asked about the team’s mental approach to this game, he said: “We understand as a team this is a bigger challenge than we’ve had maybe outside of Nebraska. but okay let’s understand it’s a bigger challenge now let’s get back to preparing how we have been. … the goal is to put our best foot forward and see if that’s good enough to win.”

— Asked about Stanford;s 50-0 edge in the first quarter and if that changes what UW does early in the game, he said the Huskies will continue to try to be aggressive early in the game: “They do a nice job of trying to take away the things that you do well. It’s a very NFL-oriented staff and they really try to take away what you do well and try to do different things. … but we’ve been in really nice rhythms in the first quarter. … we’re going to take some shots and we’re going to play Washington Husky football and that’s attack-oriented.”

— Asked what he thinks were the key factors in Stanford’s turnaround, he said: “The biggest key to what they did is Toby Gerhart, he came in and instilled a real mental and physical toughness to that team and they rode that guy. That changed who they were. They went from what was known to be a finesse team, a passing team to now being a physical team. ”

— He said a big key to the game is first-and-10 on both sides of the ball. He said Stanford QB Andrew Luck has completed 80 percent of his passes on first-and-10 and that that is also when the Cardinal has had “more than half of their explosive plays.” He also said the Stanford defense has had a lot of success on first-and-10 and that “forces you into some third-and-longs.”

— Asked if he’s expecting a shootout he said: “I don’t know” and added that as fans “We all want to make assumptions and presumptions about all games. … I would have never thought last night Arziona was going to beat UCLA 48-9, so stuff happens and you just don’t know and that’s why the game is the game. What I do expect to happen is that when there are 15 minutes left in the fourth quarter it’s going to be a ball game and that’s a key for us” adding that Stanford hasn’t been in a game in the fourth quarter in “a long, long time” and putting that pressure on the Cardinal could be advantageous for UW.

— Asked about personnel issues, he said again UW is pretty healthy. He said Kasen
Williams “will be back out there” at receiver and that “you are going to see a lot of similar rotating of players defensively and offensively. That’s been a reason why we have played fast football and why our kids are playing hungry when they are out there, they are not saving themselves, so you are going to see a lot of kids playing.”

— Asked one thing that will keep him up at night, he said the ability to handle Stanford’s front “because I thought they were very disruptive last year against us” and he wants to add some creativity to UW’s offense to try to make sure “they are not just charging straight ahead at us.”

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